"We formulate an intuitive, somewhat vague ideal of what looks like from our cultural influences, influences inside and outside the church. These ideals, if we don’t subject them to careful biblical scrutiny, can develop into flawed assumptions and expectations that we bring into our friendships, churches, and small groups."
"Worldly people sometimes complain with reason that “religious” persons, so-called, are not so amiable, and unselfish, and good-natured, as others who make no profession of religion. Yet sanctification, in its place and proportion, is quite as important as justification."
There is a clear warning here for people who study the Word closely to make sure they back up their doctrine by walking the talk. The holiness must stem from a clear understanding of the gospel. We cannot have one without the other. Understanding without transformation is arrogant and a disservice to the gospel; and a transformation without the understanding is futile, if not impossible. I don't assume that the desire for all things authentic will be going away anytime soon. As the culture dives deeper and deeper into instant, online connections, I can see that many will strive for things that feel real and lasting. But to that, I raise a challenge: do not be distracted by the world's definition of what is real and lasting. (Or even how your church defines what is real and lasting.) Because the reality is, those definitions will not last. Only Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.